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Soc Sci Med. 2018 Jan;196:150-157. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.11.040. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Female garment workers' experiences of violence in their homes and workplaces in Bangladesh: A qualitative study.

Author information

1
icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
2
Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa.
3
Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa; School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
4
Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa; Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Electronic address: Andrew.gibbs@mrc.ac.za.

Abstract

The ways in which women's engagement in paid work shapes their experiences of violence in the home and workplace is widely debated, particularly in Bangladesh, but rarely considered together. We undertook 23 in-depth interviews with female garment workers living in slums in Bangladesh, and nine interviews with key informants (factory managers and supervisors, male workers, and employees from non-governmental organisations). Data came from two studies conducted in Dhaka, Bangladesh - the first between August and September 2011 and the second between June and August 2015 - and were analysed using thematic analysis. In both settings, women experienced similar forms of violence, including emotional, physical, sexual, and economic, although from different perpetrators. Despite violence in the home and violence in the workplace typically being considered separately, we identify four overlaps between them. First, violence in both settings is shaped by how patriarchal norms and structures of institutions intersect with institutions economic structures. Second, dominant representations of female garment workers as sex workers or sexually promiscuous enables violence against them. Third, economic violence is used as a way to control and limit women's autonomy. Fourth, women develop strategies to continue working and maximize the benefits of work for themselves. Finally, we suggest how interventions could work to prevent violence in the home and workplace.

KEYWORDS:

Bangladesh; Economic empowerment; Intimate partner violence; Qualitative methods; Violence against women; Work

PMID:
29182963
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.11.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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